Wichita State University follows the Associated Press Stylebook for all public communication, with a few university-specific modifications.

In general, however, any material sent out to the masses in an effort to inform — whether newsletters, news releases, feature stories, business writing or marketing materials — should be based on the AP Stylebook.

Copies of the current AP Stylebook are available through the Shocker Store in the Rhatigan Student Center.

The goal of the WSU Writing Style Guide is to summarize commonly used AP Style rules, as well as those specific to Wichita State.

advisor - Not adviser. WSU departs from AP Style in this instance.

abbreviations, acronyms, initials - Some abbreviations are universally recognized on first reference (FBI, CIA). But in general, spell out on first reference the actual names of most entities, including universities, colleges, buildings and programs. On subsequent references, use an accepted shortened version, acronym or initials (Wichita State University; Wichita State; WSU), and include in parentheses the acronym on the first reference Ex: “Rhatigan Student Center (RSC) … The RSC …”

addresses - Use abbreviations in street addresses (1845 Fairmount St.; 5015 E. 29th St.), but not for locations (North Hillside, East 17th; 17th and Hillside; 29th and Oliver). In Wichita, numbered streets (1st Street; 17th Street; 21st Street) are not spelled out.

alumna, alumnae, alumnus, alumni - Use "alumna" for singular female, "alumnae" for plural female. Use "alumnus" for singular male, "alumni" for plural male or for a group including both men and women. It's also acceptable to use "alum" on all references. 

campus expansion - (see "innovation campus" entry)

campuses - (see "community locations" entry)

center, college, department, university - Lowercase uses of these words after the initial reference in a story. "Wichita State University" on first reference, but "the university" on second reference. "Department of Physician Associate" on first reference; in casual references, "physician associate department."

checkin, checkout - But use as two words in verb form. Ex: Checkin starts at 9 a.m.; Check out a book from Ablah Library; Check in at the Rhatigan Student Center.

commas - AP Style is not to use a comma before the last item in a serial list, e.g., "red, white and blue." Use for clarity, however, in some complex sentences (The flag is red, white and blue, and revered as a national symbol).

commencement - Use all lower case in casual reference (The university's commencement ceremonies are a time of celebration). Capitalize as part of an official title (the university's 109th Commencement Ceremony).

community locations - Wichita State has a main campus and five community locations. The community locations should never be referred to as "campuses." The correct names for community locations are WSU West, WSU South (which contains Shocker Studios), WSU Old Town, WSU Haysville and the Eugene M. Hughes Metropolitan Complex. (The latter facility may also be referred to as the "Metropolitan Complex" or "Hughes Metropolitan Complex." Never use "Metroplex" unless referring to the WSU Transit system route.)

compose, comprise - "Compose" means to create or put together: She composed a song. The United States is composed of 50 states; the zoo is composed of many animals. "Comprise" means to contain, include all or embrace. Thus, the whole comprises its parts: The United States comprises 50 states. The jury comprises five men and seven women; the zoo comprises many animals. The phrase "comprised of" is never correct.

composition titles - AP uses straight type, with no quotation marks, for titles of academic journals, catalogs, magazines, newspapers, directories and dictionaries (The Wichita Eagle; Webster's New World Dictionary). Use quotes around the titles of lectures, papers, books, movies, operas, plays, poems, albums and songs, radio and television program titles, and works of art ("Aida"; "The Wizard of Oz"; "If I Only Had a Brain"; "The Bob Newhart Show"). Don’t use quotation marks for software like websites, computer programs, apps and video games (WordPress; Microsoft Office; Instagram; Rocket League). Capitalize principal words, including prepositions and conjunctions of four or more letters. Capitalize articles — the, a, an — or words of fewer than four letters if used as the first or last word in a title.

courtesy titles - In writing, avoid Mr., Mrs., Miss. Use Dr. when referring to those with doctoral degrees. WSU departs from AP Style in this instance. Use full names on first reference, last name on subsequent references.

cosponsored - Not co-sponsored.

dates - Always use Arabic figures without st, nd, rd or th. When a month is used with a specific date, abbreviate only Jan., Feb., Aug., Sept., Oct., Nov. and Dec; spell out when the month stands alone. The day of the week precedes the date with a comma. Ex: Monday, Jan. 15; Thursday, July 4; Further information will be provided in September.

degrees - When listing a major or degree program, only the official diploma title is capitalized (Bachelor of Arts), not the program or concentration (Bachelor of Arts in history) unless the program or concentration is a proper noun. Also “associate degree,” "bachelor's degree," "master's degree" or "doctoral degree," not “AA” "BA" or "MS" or "Ph.D."

email - Not "e-mail."

emerita, emeritae, emeritus, emeriti - Use “emerita” for singular female, “emeritae” for plural female. Use "emeritus" for singular male, "emeriti" for plural male or for a group including both men and women. WSU departs from AP Style in this instance. Capitalize when used before a name (Professor Emerita Mary Doe); lower case after (Mary Doe, professor emerita).

events - Not listed in AP, but widely taught as a memory trick to event planners and journalists: Use time, date and place, in that order (The event will be from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday, May 1 in 208 Rhatigan Student Center). Add admission, whether free or for cost, and you'll answer most readers' questions. (see “dates,” “locations” and “time” entries)

faculty - Use as plural, not singular collective (The faculty are starting a new school year).

Go Shocks! Shocks - Both are acceptable in casual reference to Wichita State athletics. “Go Shox” or “Shox” are not.

GPA - Capitalize all, no periods and include the hundredths place, i.e., 2.00, not 2.0.

hyperlinks - (see “links” entry)

hyphens, dashes - Use hyphens with no spaces, dashes with a space on either side (1-4 p.m. Monday-Friday; "this sentence — not that one — makes the most sense")

Innovation Campus - Refers to the newest portion of the east side of campus. When referring to the actual physical location, use directions. ("The John Bardo Center on the south side of campus facing 17th Street," not "The John Bardo Center on the Innovation Campus.")

internet - Not "Internet."

italics - Avoid italicized text. It is difficult to see on browsers, especially for anyone who has visual difficulties.

Kansas Board of Regents - Formal name on first reference; Regents on following references.

links - When including a link to another page, hyperlink text should describe where the link goes rather than just write out the URL — the sentence should also work on its own even without a hyperlink. If you want readers to know a specific link to a page, include the link in parentheses after the hyperlinked text. Ex: “To learn more about WSU’s writing style, visit the Strategic Communications webpage”; “Find more guidelines on the Strategic Communications website (wichita.edu/sc).”

locations - For external communication use building name, then room number (Rhatigan Student Center, Room 225). Use the same structure for facilities within buildings (Duerksen Fine Arts Center, Miller Concert Hall). For internal communications, the room number may precede the building (225 Rhatigan Student Center).

login, logon, logoff - But use as two words in verb form. Ex: Update your myWSU login information. Log into your computer.

myWSU - Not "MyWSU," "My WSU" or "my WSU."

non - Use "noncredit," "nondegree," "nonaccredited." Not "non-credit," "non-degree" or "non-accredited."

numbers - In general, numerals under 10 should be spelled out; 10 and above use figures.

OneStop - Not "One Stop" or "Onestop."

online - Not "on-line."

percent - AP no longer spells out percentage. Use the symbol.

Postbaccalaureate - Not post-baccalaureate.

pre-session - "Not presession."

Shockers - All WSU faculty, staff, students and alumni are considered Shockers, capitalized.

spacing - One space after all punctuation, including colon.

telephone numbers - Separate area code from the phone number with a dash. Ex: 316-978-6000. Do not use parentheses around the area code.

time - Use a.m. and p.m., lowercase, periods, with a space (9:15 a.m.). Extra zeros are not necessary for events that start on the hour (10 a.m.). For 12 p.m. and 12 a.m., use "noon" and "midnight."

titles - Capitalize and spell out formal titles such as "president," "provost," "professor" or "dean" when they precede a person's name (College of Fine Arts Dean John Doe). Otherwise, formal titles should be all lower case (John Doe, dean of the College of Fine Arts).

University Police - Not "Campus Police."

URLs - (see “links” entry)

website, webpage - Use "website" as one word with a lowercase "w." A lowercase "w" is used for single word usage, i.e. the "web," "webpage," or "webmaster." The full proper name is still capitalized, "World Wide Web."

Wichita State University - Use proper name on first reference. On second reference, use "Wichita State" or "WSU."

workforce - Use as one word, not two.

WSU Foundation and Alumni Engagement - Use proper name on first reference, ”WSUFAE” is acceptable on subsequent references.

WSU Transit - The WSU Transit system comprises multiple routes that serve the main campus and satellite locations.

WuShock - One word, capitalize "W" and "S" for Wichita State's lovable mascot.

WSU facts, history and traditions
When citing facts, history and traditions about WSU, check:

Program terminology

For terms specific to academic and professional and other information within colleges, departments and programs, go to the appropriate website.